By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
My neighbor's cattle operation had a huge number of prized Black Angus steers and Holstein dairy-cows. I wanted them and the lush range they fed on. I tried making some sort of deal with the owner, but he was one ornery sumbitch.
He knew his Double I-Ranch was prime real estate, with super cattle herds, so he made sure to hire the strongest guards and gave them the latest weapons so nobody would consider making a move on him. He was taunting me, telling me he wouldn't deal, that I could go to hell. He needed a good lesson in humility.
Over the years, the guy had been getting old and his security system had slipped into disrepair. He ran his ranch as a kind of corrupt one-man show so I knew he'd be a pushover if I moved on his property and just took it, got rid of him and set up my own manager of the place who would run it "independently" but take his cues from me, if you get my drift. I'm the most powerful land baron in the area now, so why not? Nobody could really stop me.
But I couldn't just march my assembled gunslingers and cowhands in there and openly take it. I'd have to attack under cover of "the law": helping the poor downtrodden residents who live there, that sort of thing. So I went to the County Council and told them all sorts of scary stories about huge caches of weapons, including some really dangerous experimental ones, that were stockpiled on his ranch. I said he was planning on using all that ordnance against us and his other neighbors and his own people.
I also told them that the rancher had been involved in the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing, even though I knew he hadn't been. Oddly enough, I could get only one other major neighbor to join my plan, a suck-up kind of poodle who thought he'd hitch his small ranch to my power-star.
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